The official lottery is an activity by which a government sells tickets for games of chance to raise money. There are many different types of lotteries, including:

The most common type of lottery is a six-number game (called “pick” or “scratch”). These usually have a jackpot and smaller prizes for matching other numbers.

Some states also offer a variety of other games, including:

These include three-digit and four-digit numbers games (called “quick pick” or “scratch”), a five-number game, a six-number game with a jackpot, and a number game called keno. Some also have video lottery terminals or instant-play games.

In addition, some state lotteries support public education programs. The Illinois Lottery, for example, donates its profits to the State’s General Revenue Fund and the Common School Fund.

In order to play the official lottery, you must purchase a ticket from a licensed retailer. These retailers can be found at retail locations throughout the state, or you can play online via the state’s website or mobile app. You can also use a lottery vending machine at select retailers. If you win a prize, you can redeem it at any of the state’s six licensed casinos. You can also claim a prize by contacting the Lottery’s Claims Center in Baltimore.